This past weekend, Stephen, Adi and I finally got to see the Grand Canyon. We’ve been talking about this trip since we moved to Arizona and it has been on the calendar for months now. If you ever have the chance to live in Arizona or just be here for that matter, it is definitely a sight to see.
Friday night after work we loaded up the car and drove to Flagstaff. It’s only about a two hour drive from the Phoenix area (and 20 degrees cooler). After a long work week for both of us, it was a smart idea on Stephen’s part to break up the drive that night. We stayed in a Super 8 that had good reviews and allowed dogs. Of course it wasn’t a Ritz but hello, new married couple here… We’re not trying to break the bank on one weekend. #ballinonabudget
The next morning we woke up, packed up the car again, and went to MartAnne’s for breakfast. YOU. GUYS. If you’re in the Flagstaff area you need to try this place! Stephen and I barely said a word to each other the entire time we ate. It was amazing.
I don’t know what people were celebrating at 9:00 in the morning but holy cow they were going hard. There was a bar near the restaurant and the music was bumping and there was a long line out the door to get in. We never figured out what was going on… We also don’t know if it was just that the party never ended from the night before…
We could’ve easily taken a nap after breakfast but we continued on the journey towards the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We reached the entry gate about two hours later. We have a National Park pass so we didn’t have to pay to enter, however, I believe the fee to get in was $30 per car. From there we headed to the visitors center. Warning: The parking lot is crazy town! It felt like Black Friday at the mall. We drove around for about 15 minutes until we found a parking spot. Anyway, you don’t HAVE to go to the visitors center in order to see the canyon but it is a great place to start. They offer shuttle tours which would’ve been great but dogs aren’t allowed on those so we just walked everywhere.
The walk to see the canyon wasn’t very far at all. We ended up going on two different paved “trails” to get a couple of different views. I will say though that we definitely captured the best views driving out from the visitors center! They were absolutely spectacular. There were plenty of opportunities to pull over and take pictures so that is exactly what we did.
As for the pup, she was really excited to be out of the car and to see all of the different people. But when she saw the canyon she was like “Screw that, Mom and Dad!!!” She’s afraid of heights and quickly realized that the canyon was just a littttttle high up. It was nearly impossible to get a picture with her because she hated it so much. Poor thing. It is really easy and safe to take your dogs there though! Just keep them on a tight leash.
In terms of the weather at this time of the year, it was absolutely perfect. I don’t know if there were more tourists than normal that day but the weather certainly didn’t help the situation. We were both super comfortable in jeans and a light jacket.
We saw as much of the canyon as we could and then continued on to Horseshoe Bend. I had seen it in so many pictures and wanted to see the thing for myself. It’s only about a two hour drive between the canyon and bend so Stephen scheduled it into the weekend. It was inevitable that Horseshoe Bend is another tourist destination as it was also extremely busy. After the car was parked it was a decent “hike” through the sand to actually reach it. I would suggest wearing close-toed shoes or boots. We were both wearing boots and I even had sand in mine by the end. Stephen didn’t at all though and he says it’s because his are legit “desert boots” (Clark’s to be exact… I love those boots on him!)
Horseshoe Bend kind of surprised us both. The rocks overlooking the bend go out pretty far so it’s pretty difficult to get a full picture of it unless you’re way on the edge. It definitely was beautiful but it’s one of those things where you see it, you get some cool pictures, and then it’s like “Alright, time to walk back up.” Maybe that’s just us but that’s just my honest opinion of course. Would I see it again? Nah. Do I think it’s worth seeing at least once in your life? If you’re already out in that area, yes.
If you couldn’t guess, Adi was also not a fan of Horseshoe Bend. That sucker is way too high up for her liking (to give you some reference she doesn’t even like sitting on the table at the vet).
That night we stayed in Page, Arizona. It’s a very small town about 5 minutes from the bend. The town is pretty much all hotels so there are plenty of options but Stephen booked us in the La Quinta and we were SO impressed! It was so so nice especially considering the price (remember, ballin’ on a budget!). It must be new or only a couple of years old at best. They also allow dogs of course!
We didn’t eat lunch that day since our breakfast was so large. We were fine just eating some fruit and Aussie Bites (find them at Costco… So yummy!) in the car during the drive. By dinner time, however, we were starving. Like I said, the town is really small so there weren’t tons of options for food. We ended up splitting a burger and kimchi BBQ fries (they hit the nail on the head for us) at 48 South. We were going to go to this American Indian restaurant to get their traditional Indian tacos but it didn’t open for another hour and a half. They offer a dinner and traditional American Indian dance show which would’ve been really cool to see but Stephen and I were so hungry we couldn’t wait. If you are staying in Page and have the time I would definitely go there! We ended the night by splitting a brownie, cookie dough Master Blast from Sonic. How sweet.
The next day we visited Glen Canyon Dam before doing the five hour drive home to Phoenix. It was really big and cool to see! Adi also hated that of course…
I hope this helps if any of you are planning on visiting the Grand Canyon and/or Horseshoe Bend! Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions!